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Short-term Illness and other Extenuating Circumstances Procedure 2022-23

Published for 2022-23


2.1 What are Extenuating Circumstances?2.7 Self-Certification
2.2 When to use these procedures2.8 Evidence
2.3 Quick guide: How to apply 2.9 If you miss the deadline for EC claims
2.4 Before you apply2.10 Requesting a review of an Extenuating Circumstances decision
2.5 Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances2.11 Appeals
2.6 Mitigations2.12 Regulations for Departments and Faculties

2.1 What are Extenuating Circumstances? 

1.‘Extenuating Circumstances’ (often know as ‘ECs’) are events which are sudden, unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond your control and which may affect your performance at summative assessment, such as a serious illness or the death of a close relative.  
2.You can submit an Extenuating Circumstances claim to access ‘mitigation’ such as an extension or deferring an assessment to a later date.   
 Help and advice 
3.If you are not sure whether you should use Extenuating Circumstances, Section 1: How to Use This Framework includes details of all the different support that is available to you. 
4.Help with using these procedures is available from your Personal Tutor, your Department and a wide range of UCL support services. Section 1.2: Help and Advice includes more information. 
 Looking after your data 
5.UCL will look after your data carefully and sensitively. Where your personal information needs to be shared with members of the UCL community in order to facilitate your support, this will be done only with your consent and on a 'need-to-know' basis. Section 1.4: Confidentiality and Looking After Your Data includes more information. 

2.2 When to use these procedures

1.Extenuating Circumstances are designed for emergencies. If your circumstances are not sudden, unexpected and beyond your control, UCL has a wide range of other options to support your studies – please see Section 1: How to Use This Framework for more details.    
 Who can use these procedures 
2.These Extenuating Circumstances regulations apply to all UCL Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate students, and to UCL Postgraduate Research students taking taught components/ modules.
3.Please refer to Section 1.3: Who Can Use This Framework for detailed information on the arrangements for Affiliate students, Intercollegiate students, Study Abroad, Placements, Joint Degrees, and Short Courses. 
 Formative and summative assessments 
4.ECs apply to summative assessments only (i.e. formal assessments where your results count towards your degree). You do not need to submit EC claims for formative assessments. 
 Attendance requirements 
5.You only need to apply for ECs if your summative assessment is affected. If you miss a class or teaching event, please refer to the UCL Student Attendance Policy for more details. 

2.3 Quick guide: How to apply

Step 1:

Read these procedures carefully 

Make sure that you know what you need to submit and the deadline for submitting claims. 

 

Step 2: 

Check whether your circumstances are covered 

UCL’s ‘Grounds for ECs’ explain what will normally be considered. 

See Section 2.5: Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances 

Step 3: 

Complete an EC application 

You can make an EC claim through Portico (from October 3rd - Navigate to the MyStudies tab and click on My Extenuating Circumstances).

A comprehensive guide on submitting an EC claim can be found here: Guide to submitting your claim on Portico

 

Step 4: 

Self-certify or get supporting evidence 

You can self-certify for ECs within certain conditions.  

If you are not eligible for self-certification, you will be asked to provide supporting evidence. 

See Section 2.7: Self-Certification  

See Section 1.5: Providing Supporting Evidence 

Step 5: 

Submit your claim 

Self-Certified claims must be submitted before the assessment deadline/ date

All other EC claims should be submitted as soon as possible, and no more than one week (five working days) after the first affected assessment.  

See Section 2.7: Self-Certification 

Step 6: 

Your claim will be considered by your department 

Your department will decide whether your claim meets the criteria and which mitigation is suitable for your circumstances. Your department may also need to seek approval from your faculty or from the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) for some types of mitigation.  

See Section 2.6: Mitigations 

Step 7:

You will receive a written response as soon as possible 

You should receive a response as soon as possible and no more than ten working days after submitting your application (unless you are submitting your evidence late). There may be good reasons why a decision cannot be made within this timeframe – for example if your case needs to be escalated to your Faculty EC Panel. If this is the case, the panel will let you know, within ten working days of receiving your application, that more time is needed to process your claim. 

See Section 2.9: If you miss the deadline for EC claims 


2.4 Before you apply

1.Please note the following important information before making an application
 Mitigations available 
2.The EC application form will ask you which type of mitigation you would prefer. This will be used to determine how your request is processed but does not determine the outcome of your request. The type of mitigation offered is at the discretion of UCL, and will take the following factors into consideration:
a)The severity of your personal circumstances, and 
 b)Academic need (e.g. type of assessment, discipline, timing of the assessment), and 
 c)The requirements of any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies, which may not permit some forms of mitigation, and 
 d)Fairness to all students in your year and over time, and
 e)Protecting the academic standards of the degrees awarded by UCL.
 ‘Compelling Reasons’ 
3.At various stages of this procedure you will find regulations which allow UCL to make an exception. Exceptions will only be considered if there are compelling reasons for doing so; they are not a student entitlement. You should expect that the normal procedures will apply to you. 
 Your Home and Teaching Departments 
4.Your ‘Home’ Department and Faculty are responsible for assessing your claim. If you are taking an interdepartmental module, your Home Department/ Faculty should consult with your Teaching Department to ensure that the mitigation is possible and appropriate.  
 Group work 
5.If you are working in a group with other students, the EC Panel may consider the impact of your ECs on other students in the group, for example if the EC prevents the group from meeting the deadline or from completing the required work. 
 If your ECs affect multiple assessments 
6.An EC claim can cover more than one assessment – make sure you specify all of the affected assessments on your application. 
 Multiple claims for the same circumstances 
7.ECs are designed to cover short-term problems which are sudden and unexpected. If you submit multiple requests for the same condition or for the same assessment, and your Department/ Faculty considers that you are having a longer-term difficulty, you may be referred to UCL Student Support and Wellbeing for a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA), or to the Support to Study Procedure for additional support. The normal course of action is for the EC Panel to accept the EC claim in hand, but let you know that further EC claims for the same condition are unlikely to be approved. 
 If you have a longer-term condition or needs 
8.If you need long-term or ongoing support UCL has a wide range of options including Reasonable Adjustments for Disabilities and Long-term Conditions and Academic Adjustments. However, there may still be occasions where you need to use the EC procedures for additional help. Section 3.5: Acute Episodes and Fluctuating Conditions includes more information. 
 If you cannot submit a claim yourself 
9.If you are unable to make an application for yourself, your next of kin (e.g. parent, partner) may submit a request on your behalf. A member of staff can assist you or your next of kin in completing an application, but they are not permitted to submit a request without your consent.  
 If you are worried about disclosing sensitive information 
10.Any sensitive information will only be accessible to members of staff who are directly involved in making a decision on your claim (see Section 1.4: Confidentiality and Looking after your Data).  
11.If you are concerned about disclosing particularly sensitive circumstances to your department, you can indicate on your application that you would like your claim to be considered by your Faculty EC Panel. 
 Assessment feedback 
12.Please note that, if you submit after the published deadline as a result of an extension or deferral, the one-month UCL Assessment Feedback Turnaround policy will apply from the day that you submit your work, and not from the original deadline. 
 Falsification is a serious offence 
13.If you submit a fraudulent EC claim or evidence you will be subject to UCL’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures. If you are struggling with your studies, please seek help – Section 1.2: Help and Advice includes details of a wide range of support services. 
 ‘Working days’ 
14.Throughout this procedure, deadlines are stated in ‘working days’. This means every calendar day except weekends, UK Bank Holidays and UCL College Closure Days. Any other vacation periods or reading weeks count as working days.  

2.5 Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances

 The following guidance sets out the types of circumstances which will normally be considered. The examples under different categories should help you understand whether you can make a claim. UCL also uses this guidance to ensure that students in different departments and faculties are treated fairly. 

 

GROUNDS FOR EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES 

CATEGORY A: 

CATEGORY B: 

CATEGORY C: 

Circumstances which will normally be considered:

Circumstances that may be considered where there is a substantial impact on you: 

Circumstances that will not normally be considered: 

Bereavement 

  • Bereavement for a child, sibling, parent, carer, spouse or partner 
  • Bereavement for a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative not identified in Category A 
  • Bereavement for a friend 

 

Short-term medical conditions 

  • Serious personal injury, medical condition or mental health condition 
  • Moderate personal injury, medical condition or mental health condition 
  • Minor illnesses or injuries (such as coughs, colds, headaches, hayfever) 
  • Circumstances supported by evidence from unregistered medical practitioners, such as alternative therapists 

Long-term medical conditions 

  • Serious worsening or acute episode of an ongoing disability, medical condition or mental health condition 
  • Circumstances where there is insufficient time to put Reasonable Adjustments in place 
  • New disabilities or long-term medical or mental health conditions 
  • Medical or mental health conditions which fluctuate unpredictably 
  • A severe long-term illness which can only be addressed by an extension, deferral or other form of one-off mitigation 
  • Gender confirmation 
  • An ongoing disability, medical condition or mental health condition (you should apply for a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments) 
  • Conditions which have lasted and remained unchanged for more than 12 months (you should apply for a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments) 

Pregnancy and maternity 

  • Serious complications in pregnancy or maternity 
  • Moderate illness due to pregnancy or maternity e.g. morning sickness 
  • Pregnancy or maternity where there are no complications (you should apply for Academic Adjustments, Exam Adjustments or an Interruption of Study) 
  • Paternity, parental or adoption leave (you should apply for Academic Adjustments or an Interruption of Study) 

Parenting and caring 

  • Serious injury or illness in a child, sibling, parent, spouse or partner 
  • Serious illness of a grandparent, aunt, uncle or relative not identified in Category A 
  • Serious illness of a friend 
  • Unexpected caring responsibilities for a child, sibling, parent, spouse, partner or other close relative 
  • A breakdown of your normal childcare arrangements 
  • Relatives with minor illnesses or injuries (such as coughs, colds, headaches, hayfever etc.) 
  • Day-to-day childcare 
  • School holidays 

Major incidents 

  • Direct experience of a terrorist incident, war or natural disaster  
  • Major fire in residence 
  • Direct experience of war, terrorist incident or natural disaster by a child, sibling, parent, spouse, partner or other close friend or relative 
  • Serious travel or other disruption caused by a terrorist incident, war or natural disaster 
  • Booked travel arrangements 
  • Minor private or public transport failure 
  • Missed or delayed trains, tubes or buses  
  • Poor time-keeping 

Crime 

  • Victim of violent crime (e.g. assault, mugging, sexual assault, rape) 
  • Victim of non-violent crime  
  • Theft of work required for assessment 
  • Victim of petty theft e.g. mobile phone theft, bicycle theft or car break-in (unless these involve mugging or assault) 

Family and personal difficulties 

  • Domestic abuse 
  • Family breakdown (such as divorce) 
  • See above for parenting and caring responsibilities 
  • Booked holidays 
  • Trips to see family abroad 
  • General domestic/ family problems 

Financial difficulties 

 
  • Serious financial problems preventing you from studying 
  • General financial problems 

Housing difficulties 

 
  • Serious housing problems preventing you from studying 
  • Moving home 
  • General housing problems 

Work and other commitments 

  • Professional emergencies e.g. medical, police, fire 
  • Major changes in professional commitments affecting your ability to study 
  • Changes to work commitments for critical workers (e.g. NHS staff) 
  • Ongoing work commitments 
  • Participation in extra-curricular activities (e.g. sport) 
  • Time spent on job/internship applications/ interviews 

Academic work 

 
  • Serious problems with academic project work e.g. obtaining ethical approval, equipment failure, problems with sample collection 
  • General exam or assessment worries 
  • Fasting during an exam (please refer to the Academic Adjustments procedure) 
  • Visa problems 
  • Poor time management 
  • Failure of IT equipment/ printers 
  • Failure to back up documents 

Court appearance 

  • Jury Service  
  • Attendance at court or tribunal as a witness, defendant or plaintiff 

 

  • Supporting a relative or friend at court 

Other 

 

 

  • Circumstances which are foreseeable or preventable 
  • Claims that you were unaware of the dates or times of submission or examination 
  • Circumstances which do not relate to the timing of the assessment 
  • Late disclosure of circumstances on the basis that you felt unable to follow the UCL EC procedures  
  • Circumstances without reasonable supporting evidence (medical or otherwise) unless you are eligible for self-certification 
  • Circumstances supported by evidence from a relative or other person with a conflict of interest. 

2.6 Mitigations

1.The ‘Mitigation Options’ table indicates the types of mitigation that are available through these Extenuating Circumstances procedures. 
2.The EC application form will ask you which type of mitigation you would prefer. This will be used to determine how your request is processed but does not determine the outcome of your request. 
3.You should expect to receive a Category 1 or 2 mitigation. These mainly centre around giving you additional time to complete an assessment. This is usually in the form of either an extension or a ‘deferral’:
a)A deferral is the opportunity to take an assessment as if for the first time and without penalty. Deferrals normally take place at the ‘next normal occasion’ which is typically the Late Summer Assessment Period. The regulations for deferrals can be found in Chapter 4, Part A, Section 8: Deferred Assessment.
4.In exceptional circumstances, if the Departmental EC Panel agrees that the options in Category 1 or 2 will not provide sufficient mitigation for you, your case may be escalated to the Faculty EC Panel to consider a Category 3 mitigation. 
5.In extraordinary circumstances, if the Departmental or Faculty EC Panel agrees that the options in Category 3 will not provide sufficient mitigation for you, your Faculty may make a recommendation to the Director of Academic Services on behalf of the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) to consider a Category 4 mitigation. 

 

CATEGORY 1: Self-Certified Mitigations

Assessment Type 

Recommended Mitigation 

Minimum Approval Level 

Evidence Requirements 

Controlled Condition Exam 

1. Deferral without Tuition to the next normal occasion (typically the Late Summer Assessment Period). 

Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Panel 

You can self-certify within specified conditions – see Section 2.7: Self-Certification.

If you do not meet the self-certification criteria, evidence is required. 

Take-home paper (including 24-hour assessments) 

2. Extension of 2 hours per 24-hour period (e.g. a 48-hour paper would be extended by 4 hours). 

Quizzes & In-class tests 

3. Deferral without Tuition to the next normal occasion (timing determined by the department). 

Practical exam 

4. Deferral without Tuition (timing determined by the department). 

Dissertation/ research project 

5. Extension of up to 2 weeks (10 working days). 

Coursework and other assessments 

6. Extension of up to 1 week (5 working days). 

CATEGORY 2: Evidenced Mitigations

Assessment Type 

Recommended Mitigation 

Minimum Approval Level 

Evidence Requirements 

As appropriate 7. Suspension of the Late Submission PenaltiesDepartmental Extenuating Circumstances Panel Evidence required 
8. Coursework extension longer than 1 week. 
9. Dissertation/ research project extension longer than 2 weeks. 
10. Deferral without Tuition: Not at the next normal occasion. 
11. Deferral without Tuition for assessments immediately prior to a period of Interruption
12. Deferral with Tuition. 
13. Deferral with Tuition for lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervision or other teaching events immediately prior to a period of Interruption
14. Exclude component from module calculation: Maximum 10% weighting. 

CATEGORY 3: Exceptional Mitigations

Assessment Type 

Recommended Mitigation 

Minimum Approval Level 

Evidence Requirements 

As appropriate 15. Extension longer than 12 weeks. Faculty Extenuating Circumstances Panel Evidence required 
16. Alternative Method of Assessment allowing the student to demonstrate achievement of the same learning outcomes (subject to consultation with the Programme Leader and approval by the External Examiner). 
17. Exclude component from module calculation: 11 to 50% weighting. 
18. Exclude module from Progression/ Award Requirements: Maximum 30 credits. 
19. Exclude module from Classification calculation: Maximum 30 credits. 
20. Exclude module from Progression/ Award Requirements and Classification calculation: Maximum 30 credits. 
21. Transfer to Part-Time study (UG and PGT students), or Flexible-Modular study (PGT students only) where possible in the curriculum. 

CATEGORY 4: Extraordinary Mitigations

Assessment Type 

Recommended Mitigation 

Minimum Approval Level 

Evidence Requirements 

As appropriate 22. Exclude component from module calculation: More than 50% weighting. Director of Academic Services on behalf of the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) Evidence required 
23. Exclude module from Progression/ Award Requirements: More than 30 credits. 
24. Exclude module from Classification calculation: More than 30 credits. 
25. Exclude module from Progression/ Award Requirements and Classification calculation: More than 30 credits. 
26. Any Suspension of Regulations or mitigation not included in this list. 

2.7 Self-Certification

1.You can self-certify for Extenuating Circumstances on a limited number of occasions, within the following defined criteria.
2.You are expected to only submit self-certified claims that meet the criteria set out in Section 2.5: Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances.  
3.Approval is not necessarily automatic. The claim decision and the type of mitigation are at the discretion of UCL. 
4.You can self-certify for up to two separate periods of up to two weeks (ten working days) within an academic session
5.If your programme includes teaching after Term 3 (e.g. Taught Postgraduate Masters students) you can also self-certify on a third separate occasion. The third occasion can only be used after the end of Term 3. 
6.Self-certification periods should be two weeks (ten working days) apart. 
7.A self-certification period can cover more than one assessment and more than one type of assessment (exam, coursework etc.). 
8.Self-certified claims cannot be accepted more than two weeks (ten working days) before the first affected assessment. 
9.You can only self-certify before the assessment takes place. Any claims submitted after the assessment has started must be accompanied by evidence. Self-certification cannot be used to defer an assessment which you have already taken, or to suspend late submission penalties. 
10.You can self-certify only once for each assessment (you cannot self-certify for successive extensions on the same piece of work, for example). 
11.Under the self-certification policy, you should aim to defer no more than 30 credits to the Late Summer, and must not defer more than 60 credits to the Late Summer. You should think carefully about deferring assessments - there is a possibility of having further Extenuating Circumstances or failing the assessment, and this could prevent progression to next year, delay graduation, affect job offers or impact a place on a Masters or PhD programme. 
12.Where the standard self-certified mitigation is an extension, it may not be possible to make a decision before the assessment deadline/ start time. In these cases, the EC Panel may grant a retrospective extension by waiving any Late Submission Penalties that might otherwise be imposed.  
13.Falsification is a serious offence. If you submit a fraudulent EC claim or evidence you will be subject to Chapter 6, Section 9: Student Academic Misconduct Procedures. If you are struggling with your studies, please seek help – Section 1.2: Help and Advice includes details of a wide range of support services. 

2.8 Evidence

1.If you are not eligible for self-certification, your EC claim needs to be supported by written evidence from an appropriate, independent and verifiable authority such as a doctor or registered medical practitioner. Further information about the types of evidence which you might be able to use is available in Section 1.5: Providing Supporting Evidence.  
2.Your evidence will need to cover the full period for which you are requesting mitigation. 
 Evidence in sensitive or traumatic cases 
3.UCL understands that it can be distressing to be asked for ‘evidence’ in the case of very sensitive circumstances such as the death of a close relative, harassment, discrimination or sexual assault. We also understand that it can be very difficult to provide evidence of particularly traumatic events such as war or terrorism. If there are compelling reasons for making an exception, the Department should escalate the claim to the Faculty EC Panel which is authorised to use its discretion to either suspend the need for formal evidence or accept alternative forms of evidence. 
 Additional evidence 
4.If the EC Panel does not have enough evidence to make a decision, you may be asked to provide new or additional evidence. You will need to provide the additional evidence within four weeks of being contacted. If you do not submit the requested evidence, your claim will normally be rejected.  

2.9 If you miss the deadline for EC claims 

 Late evidence 
1.If you cannot obtain the necessary evidence in time to submit your EC claim, you must still submit your application on time and indicate that your evidence is to follow.  
2.You must submit your late evidence no more than four weeks after submitting your EC application. A decision cannot be made until your evidence is received. This may affect the type of mitigation that is available to you. 
 Late claims
3.Extenuating Circumstances claims should be submitted as soon as possible, and normally no more than one week after the first affected assessment. Extenuating Circumstances claims cannot be considered through these procedures once your formal results have been published. However, you have the right to appeal your results via the Academic Appeals Procedure

2.10 Requesting a review of an Extenuating Circumstances decision 

1.You cannot contest the outcome of an EC request on the grounds of academic or professional judgement. However, you may request a review of an EC decision if you feel that there has been a significant procedural error in the handling of your request. 
2.Requests for review must be submitted within two weeks of the mitigation decision. 
3.Decisions made by Departmental EC Panels should be reviewed by the Chair of the Faculty EC Panel.  
4.Decisions made by Faculty EC Panels should be reviewed by an Assessor appointed by the Director of Academic Services (typically an FECP Chair from another Faculty). 
5.The FECP Chair or Assessor should consider the request and make one of the following decisions:

a)To uphold the original decision, or 
 b)To retain the original decision but amend specific details such as length of extension, Deferral deadline etc., or 
 c)To make a new decision. 
6.The FECP Chair or Assessor should communicate their decision to you in writing within one week of receiving the request.

2.11 Appeals

1.You cannot appeal against an academic or professional judgement that has been reached through due process by an Extenuating Circumstances Panel. However, if you are dissatisfied with your progression, award or classification outcome, you may be able to appeal within specified grounds via the Academic Appeals Procedure, where consideration can be given to whether UCL applied its Regulations and Procedures correctly and whether any decision was reasonable and proportionate. 

2.12 Regulations for Departments and Faculties

2.12.1 Approval Process 

1The Faculty Extenuating Circumstances Panel is responsible for all EC decisions made by the departments under its remit. The following bodies are authorised to assess claims: 

Category 

Type of Mitigation 

Approval Needed 

Evidence Needed 

Category 1: 

Self-Certified Mitigations 

Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Panel 

Students can self-certify within specified conditions – see Section 2.7. If they do not meet the self-certification criteria, evidence is required. 

Category 2: 

 

Evidenced Mitigations 

Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Panel 

Evidence required 

Category 3: 

Exceptional Mitigations 

Faculty Extenuating Circumstances Panel 

Evidence required 

Category 4: 

Extraordinary Mitigations 

Director of Academic Services on behalf of the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) 

Evidence required 

2.While Panels are responsible for all decisions, the administration of claims may be carried out by appropriate academic and/ or professional services staff under the supervision of the Panel Chair and Deputy Chair. This may include approval of self-certified claims that meet all of the relevant criteria. Any uncertain or edge cases should be considered by the full Panel. 
3.When liaising with other departments, faculties, colleges or institutions, the discussion should focus on the type of mitigation. Sensitive personal data, such as details of the EC itself, should only be disclosed where it is essential to supporting the student. Please read Section 1.4: Confidentiality and Looking After Your Data for further information. 
4.When assessing interdepartmental claims, approvers are asked to ensure that they consult with the Teaching Department to check that the mitigation is appropriate. Different disciplines have different practices, for example with regards to publishing assessment solutions or setting new assessment tasks, and these might not align with local assumptions. 

2.12.2 Faculty Extenuating Circumstances Panels

1.Each UCL Faculty must have a Faculty Extenuating Circumstances Panel (FECP) which operates under the following Terms of Reference:

a)To oversee decision-making for all EC claims submitted by students in the Departments under the Faculty’s remit. 
 b)To provide Departments with advice and guidance, with a particular focus on the types of mitigation that may be appropriate and/ or restricted in a given discipline or area of professional practice. 
 c)To make decisions on Category 3 claims, and on Category 1 or 2 claims that have been escalated from departments. 
 d)To consider Category 1 and 2 claims where the student has requested that sensitive information is not shared with their department (see Section 1.4). 
 e)To make recommendations on Category 4 claims to the Director of Academic Services where necessary and appropriate. 
2.The FECP must be constituted as follows:

a)The FECP should be chaired by the Faculty Tutor or equivalent. A Deputy Chair must be nominated to stand in for the Chair where necessary. 
 b)In addition to the Chair and Deputy Chair, the FECP must include at least two members of senior faculty staff such as Faculty Graduate Tutors, Programme Leaders, Departmental Tutors and senior Professional Services staff. 
 c)The FECP secretary should be a named member of staff from the Faculty teaching administration team.
 d)External Examiners must not be members of the FECP. 
3.FECPs may ‘meet’ in person, online or by asynchronous messaging. All decisions must be dated and recorded in writing. 
4.‘Meetings’ should include a minimum of three members, including either the Chair or Deputy Chair. 
5.The Chair or Deputy Chair of the FECP are entitled to take Chair’s Action. 
6.FECP members who have a personal or professional conflict of interest with any student being considered must withdraw from the discussions about that student.  

2.12.3 Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Panels

1.Each UCL Department must have a Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Panel (DECP) with the following Terms of Reference: 

a)To make decisions on Category 1 or 2 claims. 
 b)To escalate claims to Category 3 and 4 where necessary and appropriate. 
 c)To follow Faculty policies and guidance on the types of mitigation that may be appropriate and/ or restricted in a given discipline or area of professional practice. 
2.‘Department’ may cover local variations such as divisions, institutes, short course providers etc. 
3.The DECP must be constituted as follows:

a)The DECP should be chaired by the Departmental Tutor. A Deputy Chair must be nominated to stand in for the Chair where necessary. 
 b)In addition to the Chair and Deputy Chair, the DECP must include at least two members of senior Departmental staff such as Programme Leaders, Departmental Tutors (or equivalent) and senior Professional Services staff. 
 c)The DECP secretary should be a named member of staff from the Departmental teaching administration team. 
 d)External Examiners must not be members of the DECP. 
4.DECPs may ‘meet’ in person, online or by asynchronous messaging. All decisions must be dated and recorded in writing. 
5.‘Meetings’ should include a minimum of three members, including either the Chair or Deputy Chair. 
6.The Chair or Deputy Chair of the DECP is entitled to take Chair’s Action. 
7.DECP members who have a personal or professional conflict of interest with any student being considered must withdraw from the discussions about that student. 

2.12.4 Assessing Claims

1.Approvers are responsible for:

a)Making objective, impartial decisions about the validity of ECs submitted by students under their remit. 
 b)Determining the most appropriate mitigation for the individual circumstances. 
 c)Ensuring that all ECs are either supported by appropriate evidence or meet the criteria for self-certification.
 d)Ensuring that mitigation is only applied to the affected module(s). 
 e)Ensuring that mitigation is only applied once for each assessment. 
 f)Processing ECs in a timely manner. 
 g)Keeping sensitive student information confidential to those directly involved in making a decision – Section 1.4: Confidentiality and Looking After Your Data includes more information. 
 h)Storing all data relating to ECs securely. 
2.Claims should meet the criteria in Section 2.5: Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances, which are based on sector best practice from the Academic Registrars’ Council and the Office for the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. The examples provided are not intended to be exhaustive but are designed to manage student expectations about the help available to them and to ensure that, as far as possible, students across different Departments and Faculties are treated fairly. 
3.If there is a compelling reason for making an exception, Departmental and Faculty EC Panels may use their discretion to:

a)Accept an EC claim more than one week after the first affected assessment (but not after formal results have been published), or 
 b)Accept alternative forms of evidence, or 
 c)Accept self-certified claims for periods less than two weeks (ten working days) apart. 
4.If there is a compelling reason for making an exception, Faculty EC Panels may use their discretion to:

a)Suspend the evidence requirement. 
5.The ‘Recommended Mitigations’ are designed to promote consistency across UCL and to manage student expectations about the help available to them. If there are compelling reasons for doing so, approvers may offer another form of mitigation which falls within the same Category, or escalate the claim to a higher Category.
6.For decisions relating to an Interruption of Study, the approver should determine the student’s eligibility for a deferral; all other details of the interruption, such as the Date of Interruption and Date of Return, fall under the remit of the Interruption of Study Procedures (see Section 6).
7.Students should receive a decision within ten working days of their claim being submitted unless:

a)The student submits late evidence (see Section 2.9), or 
 b)The student is asked to provide new/ additional evidence (see Section 2.8), or 
 c)The student has not yet provided any evidence (see Section 2.9), or 
 d)There are good reasons why a decision cannot be made within this timeframe, in which case the relevant panel should let the student know that more time is needed to process their claim. 
8.If the claim is rejected, the decision must clearly articulate the reasons for rejection. 
9.The mitigation decision should be communicated to the relevant Board of Examiners, Teaching Department or Institution (if applicable), and UCL Academic Services. Communications must only include the type of mitigation which has been agreed and should not include details of the EC itself – Section 1.4: Confidentiality and Looking After Your Data includes more information. 

2.12.5 Boards of Examiners’ responsibilities  

1.The Board of Examiners is responsible for applying the mitigation, confirming module marks, determining whether the student may progress or graduate, and issuing official results. 
2.Members of the Board of Examiners must only be notified of the mitigation decision and not the details of the EC itself - Section 1.4: Confidentiality and Looking After Your Data includes more information. 
3.In order to respect the sensitive nature of students’ circumstances and to ensure that the academic standards of UCL are upheld, the Board of Examiners must ensure that:

a)a) Only approved ECs are considered, and 
 b)b) New cases are not raised at the meeting of the Board, and 
 c)c) The nature or severity of the EC is not discussed, and 
 d)d) Marks are not adjusted in any circumstances, and 
 e)Students are not raised from a fail to a pass.